One of my favorite dishes to teach is this marinated kale avocado salad. Sure, by now most New Yorkers are such fanatics they’ve probably converted their shampoo, face cream, and bed sheets to products with some derivative of kale. But I’m always surprised by how few people know how to easily remove the stems and cut the leaves to get the thin, beautiful ribbons, they’re used to seeing in the restaurant kale salads of their dreams.
It’s for this reason that I decided to develop a kale avocado salad for my Vitamin Shoppe pantry to plate class. To give the recipe a new flavor from my past kale efforts, I used coconut oil (I like this brand), toasted coconut, and liquid aminos for a slight Asian vibe.
One of my favorite new healthy local spots is Nourish Kitchen + Table. Their detox kale salad is one of the best around. It has a hint of sesame and tamari, but the highlight for me is that it’s topped with beautiful shaved watermelon radishes. Since apple cider vinegar was one of my pantry ingredients du jour, I did a quick pickle on some radishes and carrots for the salad. One of the many benefits of apple cider vinegar is that it’s known to support insulin function. This makes it a great thing to incorporate in your diet if you tend to eat a lot of carbs, like, say, fried rice.
The coconut oil gives the salad a great background flavor. But one thing to note is that it can easily go from liquid to solid when confronted with cold temperatures. So make sure your kale is room temperature and not straight from the fridge. Otherwise, hold off and wait until after the marinating process to drizzle in the coconut oil as a flavor finish.
This detox kale avocado salad with pickled vegetables is exactly what my body has been hungering for the past few weeks as I’ve force fed it high fructose corn syrup and MSG. It’s also a great thing to make in advance and pack in your lunchbox for those of you who are a little late to the game on getting in the back-to-school healthy groove.
Coconut Kale Salad with Avocado and Pickled Vegetables
- 1 bunch Lacinato or Dinosaur Kale
- 1 large clove garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons Liquid Aminos
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons melted Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil melted
- 6 red radishes thinly sliced
- 2 medium carrots thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/3 cup large flake coconut
- 1 avocado diced
Remove the ribs from the kale by tearing away an inch or so from each side of the bottom of the stalk to form flaps. Then grab the bottom of the stalk and pull up.
Stack the kale leaves in a pile and roll up like a cigar. Thinly slice the kale. Set aside in a large mixing bowl. Add the garlic, lemon juice, liquid aminos and olive oil. Mix together with your hands until each leaf of kale is very well coated in the lemon-oil mixture. Drizzle in the coconut oil and toss to combine. Set aside for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until wilted.
Combine the carrots and radishes with the cider vinegar and salt. Let sit, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, toast the coconut in a skillet over medium heat until golden brown, 2 minutes. Set aside.
Add the pickled vegetables to the kale, along with the avocado, and toss to combine. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with the toasted coconut.